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Hunt has some red flags, but could his talent outweigh the risk?
In every draft there are prospects who present significant upside, but also present with some kind of risk which could hold teams back from taking a chance on them early in the draft.
The New York Giants have been a risk-averse team in recent years when it comes to the draft. They have typically selected players with few health or character concerns coming out of college and typically focus on players with evidence of high character, such as team captains.
But they are also a team in need of talent, and sometimes a team has to take a perceived risk to get a significant payout. That might mean taking a chance on a player with some red flags but considerable upside if the potential value gets too high to ignore.
Robert Hunt out of Louisiana might be one such player. He is a big, powerful offensive tackle who projects well to the guard position and could bring second round ability with a mid-round price.
Prospect: Robert Hunt, G, Louisiana
Games Watched: vs. Alabama (2019), vs. Appalachian State (2019), vs. Georgia Southern (2019)
Red Flags: Arrested in 2017, groin injury (2019)
Height: 6050* (6-foot-5)
Weight: 322* pounds
(Note: School measurements, will be updated with official measurements after the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine)
Games Played (starts): 38 (38)
Best: Size, power, short-area quickness, run blocking, mentality
Worst: Pass protection on the edge, balance
Projection: A guard in an offensive scheme that uses man-gap and inside zone blocking schemes.
(Robert Hunt is right tackle, number 50)
Louisiana offensive lineman Robert Hunt has very good size and power, as well as good short-area quickness and agility for the guard position. Hunt has a very good frame for the position with good width and thickness in his upper and lower body as well as reasonable natural leverage. He usually plays with good knee and hip bend, compensating for his height and allowing him to play with good pad level. Hunt had a good get-off at the snap of the ball and shows good power when engaging defenders. He has enough short-area quickness and agility to mirror most defenders in pass protection. He generally shows good hand usage to extend his arms and win inside leverage, as well as the grip strength to sustain his blocks. Hunt also plays with a wide base and is able to anchor against bull rushes.
Hunt is a mauler when blocking down hill for running plays. He shows very good leverage and play strength to create movement along the offensive line. Hunt also shows a good ability to play off combo blocks and secure blocks at the second level, as well as operate as a puller in power schemes.
Hunt shows some issues with balance when asked to play on an island, particularly when pass protecting against athletic edge rushers. In those cases he doesn’t show the same leverage he does in run blocking, letting his pad level rise and he has a tendency to stop his feet and lunge. He might also have some conditioning concerns as he looks somewhat slower late in games. Hunt was one of 13 Louisiana players arrested in 2017 and charged with conspiracy to commit theft. He also suffered a groin injury late in 2019.
Overall Grade: 4.6 – A player with several above average traits you can win with.
Robert Hunt played offensive tackle for Louisiana, but he projects better inside at the NFL level. He has the athleticism to potentially play on the edge on a limited basis — perhaps as part of an adjustment to an injury — but he would have very good athleticism for a guard. By limiting the area he is responsible for and the athleticism he would face, an offense would be able to emphasize his strengths as a player.
Hunt is a powerful player, with the ability to toss defenders around when playing with proper leverage. He has a definite mean streak as a blocker and starting upside in a power scheme if he is allowed to play to his strengths. He has blocked in both man and zone concepts and should be able to do both at the NFL level. That being said, he would be best in an offense which is based on man-gap and inside zone blocking to limit the amount of area he has to block.
Teams will want to do their homework on Hunt, however. Both in his medicals to evaluate the groin injury he suffered at the end of 2019 and the background related to his 2017 arrest. The players arrested reportedly cooperated with the authorities and engaged in a pre-trial diversion program which resulted in charges being dropped. However, teams will want to make sure they are comfortable with his character.